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Old 10-08-2010, 02:15 PM   #1
Waterfish
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Question Best clam gun?

I am fairly new to razor clamming. On my first trip last spring, I borrowed one plastic clam gun and one aluminum gun. They worked OK but while we were on the beach another clammer let me try his gun which was much easier to push into the sand. I think it was made of stainless steel; and the metal was thinner and the tube diameter was slightly larger diameter, plus the length of the tube was shorter. All of those features created less friction, making it easier to push into the sand. Anyone know where I can buy this type of clam gun?

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Old 10-08-2010, 02:16 PM   #2
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Default Re: Best clam gun?

A shovel.
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Old 10-08-2010, 02:18 PM   #3
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Default Re: Best clam gun?

Englands in Astoria, Fisherman's Marine are probably two likely places. Look on line. If you are going to use a gun stainless is the way to go. The stainless shovels are also the only way to go too.
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Old 10-08-2010, 02:21 PM   #4
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Default Re: Best clam gun?

have someone show you how to use a shovel, it's the easiest method. And you won't look like a tourist.
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Old 10-08-2010, 02:25 PM   #5
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Default Re: Best clam gun?

I like a stainless shovel but if they're really deep I'll first blow the sand away with a .458.

It sort of depends on where you dig. I was used to the Oregon sand and the first time I dug up at Long Beach, I couldn't believe how difficult it was to get the shovel into the sand. All sand is not created equal. Lots of folks use guns in Washington and do very well but shovels work lots better in Oregon.
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Old 10-08-2010, 02:27 PM   #6
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Default Re: Best clam gun?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Waterfish View Post
I am fairly new to razor clamming. On my first trip last spring, I borrowed one plastic clam gun and one aluminum gun. They worked OK but while we were on the beach another clammer let me try his gun which was much easier to push into the sand. I think it was made of stainless steel; and the metal was thinner and the tube diameter was slightly larger diameter, plus the length of the tube was shorter. All of those features created less friction, making it easier to push into the sand. Anyone know where I can buy this type of clam gun?
wholsale sports 75 bucks.
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Old 10-08-2010, 02:29 PM   #7
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Default Re: Best clam gun?

I've heard the shovel vs gun points before, and that's not what I'm asking for here. I will check with England's and Fishermans, but if someone knows where to find the type of gun I described, please post that to make my search a little easier.
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Old 10-08-2010, 02:30 PM   #8
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wholsale sports 75 bucks.
Thanks much, I will check there!
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Old 10-08-2010, 02:45 PM   #9
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Default Re: Best clam gun?

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Originally Posted by Waterfish View Post
I've heard the shovel vs gun points before, and that's not what I'm asking for here. I will check with England's and Fishermans, but if someone knows where to find the type of gun I described, please post that to make my search a little easier.

Fishermans, Bobs, Cabelas, Englunds would be my last choice...........and just about any store at the coast. Typically run around $75 but can be as high as $150 if you custom order one. Your best bet would be a stainless shovel though.

You might try calling a few of the stores to see if they have any availalbe.
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Old 10-08-2010, 02:46 PM   #10
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Default Re: Best clam gun?

Jacks Country Store in Ocean Park, Washington has really good ones at $89.95. I use a shovel, but a lot of people use the stainless guns in the drier sand.
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Old 10-08-2010, 06:16 PM   #11
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I bought stainless, nonstainless, and pvc clam guns and have used all three on both Oregon and Washington beaches.

Can't tell any difference at all between the painted steel and the stainless steel tubes in terms of ease in pushing down into the sand or pulling cores. The PVC gun is junk.

The painted one will rust though and likely is not going to have an indefinite life, although the one I've got is 5 years old and looks fine.

Guns are easier to use in the surf if you dig there much.

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Old 10-08-2010, 06:42 PM   #12
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Default Re: Best clam gun?

englands marine in astoria thats where I got mine ask them for the nice ones they might be out of stock up front ( the welds nicer and over all better made and cheaper than some other stainless they have ) talk to the guys at the counter they are real helpful there.
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Old 10-08-2010, 08:33 PM   #13
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I have a PVC gun and it's GREAT ! They don't weigh as much as the stainless and do the same job (if you know what you are doing) 75 bucks for a clam gun... ( AUP violation here )
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Old 10-08-2010, 09:10 PM   #14
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The PVC guns work OK -- especially if you sharpen them once in a while! It can be done with a course file, or CAREFULLY with a belt or disc sander.
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Old 10-09-2010, 06:05 AM   #15
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I have a PVC gun and it's GREAT ! They don't weigh as much as the stainless and do the same job (if you know what you are doing) 75 bucks for a clam gun... ( AUP violation here )

The non-stainless steel clam gun isn't anywhere near $75 and seems to be a good compromise. I also don't like the fact that SS guns are that expensive.

The PVC gun i've got, can't go nearly as deep with it vs. the steel tubes and it doesn't pull a very complete core. It works, but not well. Maybe the maker didn't seal it very well. It's sharp though as I put a file on it after the first time I used it.

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Old 10-09-2010, 06:58 AM   #16
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Default Re: Best clam gun?

Water, I have a slightly different take. I tend to dig in the sand, away from the surf because I often have kids or newbies with me. Don't care if I look like a tourist but I probably look funny. Anyway, a good compromise for us has been the aluminum tubes. We walk quite a bit and the S.Steel are very heavy. I have not have problems with the aluminum going into the sand (it is work, even with the S.Steel). They have held up well for us but we've only been doing this a few year.
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Old 10-09-2010, 07:35 AM   #17
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Default Re: Best clam gun?

Bobs in Longview has the aluminum guns for 55$. They work great. Bill
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Old 10-09-2010, 08:04 AM   #18
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I have the plastic one that I bought in Long Beach a couple of years ago. It has a thicker wall and can pull a plug easily and doesn't collapse. Can't see spending 75 bucks for stainless, the clams don't know the difference.
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Old 10-09-2010, 10:19 AM   #19
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Take it from an (expert---?)! We owned and operated Clam Gulch Lodge in Alaska for 6 years. We routinely dug and cleaned hundreds of Razor clams daily during the tides. Our all time high was 900 clams in one day with 15 people on the flats. We rented and used stainless clam guns made right here in Scappoose. No other device incuding shovels was as effective as the gun. I had a pile of broken shovel handles in the yard.

As far as I know those same guns are still in use and we left there ten years ago.

Of course if you are young and flexible you can use the shovel. Most people preferred the guns once they used them.

The difference between a stainless gun and a PVC was like the difference between a high end graphite rod and a $25 fiberglass stick. They both will catch fish but which one is more fun to use? Once you get used to the stainless you can feel it touch the shell of the clam.

this is not a commercial endorsement!!!!!:two cents:
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Old 10-09-2010, 11:01 AM   #20
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Heck Joe,
when I dug with youup there you made me use a broomstick. WE didnt need anything other than our hands at clam gulch. Dig one hole and pull out 4 GIANT razor clams............Incredible! It made for a long afternoon of cleaning and enjoying a beverage or two. Send me a PM of the local builder that you used in Scapoose. I would like to have someone build a new gun for Marissa.

Thanks old friend.

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Old 10-09-2010, 01:58 PM   #21
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Default Re: Best clam gun?

I was just at Bob's in Longview.

  • stainless clam guns: $69.99
  • aluminum: $54.99 - $40.00 depending on quality of welds
  • pvc: $15 (I think)
We have the aluminum kind and they work great and are easy to carry.

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Old 12-24-2011, 09:52 AM   #22
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I just learned how to razor clam in Washington. We got our limit the first Day and the second was a bust because of High Surf. I use an Aluminum 3" tube and it works great. My friends have the stainless and aluminum tubes with the shorter tube and the long handle welded to it. They worked good too. They make a small 1/4" diameter tube about 18" long that you can epoxy to the outside that breaks the suction and saves your back. I have not tried this, but have talked to several people who say it's a must have. See
www.jackscountrystore.co/stainlesssteelclamgun.aspx for the best quality clam guns.
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Old 12-24-2011, 10:30 AM   #23
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Default Re: Best clam gun?

This is the most effective and efficient tool for harvesting razor clams.
I've never seen a commercial razor clam digger using a tube, ever.

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Old 12-24-2011, 01:33 PM   #24
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This is the most effective and efficient tool for harvesting razor clams.
I've never seen a commercial razor clam digger using a tube, ever.

To make them even better when the handle gets wornout, replace it with a longer one so you don't have to bend over to thump the sand.
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Old 12-24-2011, 03:51 PM   #25
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Default Re: Best clam gun?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Chinook Al View Post
I just learned how to razor clam in Washington. We got our limit the first Day and the second was a bust because of High Surf. I use an Aluminum 3" tube and it works great. My friends have the stainless and aluminum tubes with the shorter tube and the long handle welded to it. They worked good too. They make a small 1/4" diameter tube about 18" long that you can epoxy to the outside that breaks the suction and saves your back. I have not tried this, but have talked to several people who say it's a must have. See
www.jackscountrystore.co/stainlesssteelclamgun.aspx for the best quality clam guns.
If I'm not mistaken, both Washington and Oregon have a minimum gun size of 4". So make sure your gun is legal.

I will agree, the shovel is the best way to harvest a clam!


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Old 12-24-2011, 04:14 PM   #26
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Learn to use a shovel! Quick and easy digging. Plus it's you versus the clam. Mono et mono, sort of. More sporting. $Bill
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Old 12-24-2011, 04:38 PM   #27
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Welded aluminum works great for us- limit after limit , year after year. CW
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Old 12-24-2011, 07:39 PM   #28
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Default Re: Best clam gun?

Being an old person, I have clammed for about 50 years. I started with a steel shovel. I dug in the sand and surf both. Then I upgraded to a stainless steel shovel. What a great move. It cuts through the sand like butter and does not rust. Then I bought a stainless steel gun for my wife. She had problems pulling it out so I tried it. I now take both. If the clams are not showing in the water, you can stomp around on the sand and make them appear. Once you see the hole or dimple, the gun works great and you don't have to get your hands wet in the freezing cold winter air. So...I use both. I think there is a place for both. Whatever you choose, make it STAINLESS!
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Old 12-24-2011, 07:48 PM   #29
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While I do prefer a shovel the clam gun to have is from Jacks Country Store or Razorclam.com. They have both aluminum and stainless. There are several other places that sell these guns. Bob's in Longview is one.
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Old 12-25-2011, 07:41 AM   #30
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.....i use a gun. after a few years and after a few broken plastic ones i bought an aluminum gun what a difference! goes in the sand like hot knife in butter compared to the plastic ones. other than cost and weight don`t know if would see much of difference between stainless and aluminum clam guns.
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Old 12-25-2011, 10:18 AM   #31
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Quote:
Originally Posted by freespool View Post
This is the most effective and efficient tool for harvesting razor clams.
I've never seen a commercial razor clam digger using a tube, ever.

That's because commercial clam diggers are not allowed to use a clam gun at least not in oregon To many broken clams
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Old 12-25-2011, 10:57 AM   #32
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I believe it's because you can harvest more clams in a shorter period of time with a shovel.
Shovels are also more efficient digging in the surf, where most commercials prefer. Your pounder is also your digging tool, again better efficiency.
Lastly it's a matter of digging a few handfuls of sand per clam, as opposed to a full tube of sand, multiply that times 150, and that's a lot of work.
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Old 12-25-2011, 02:19 PM   #33
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Waterfish View Post
I am fairly new to razor clamming. On my first trip last spring, I borrowed one plastic clam gun and one aluminum gun. They worked OK but while we were on the beach another clammer let me try his gun which was much easier to push into the sand. I think it was made of stainless steel; and the metal was thinner and the tube diameter was slightly larger diameter, plus the length of the tube was shorter. All of those features created less friction, making it easier to push into the sand. Anyone know where I can buy this type of clam gun?
well my springfeild xd 45 has a 13 round mag but makes a big mess. my glock 17 longslide has a 33 round mag and is not as destructive 9mm has enough stopping power 4 a razor clam and with a 33 round mag means les reloading on the beach
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Old 12-25-2011, 06:20 PM   #34
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Thanks for the laugh rc101, wouldn`t you prefer a scoped rifle?, one shot, one kill. Used to laugh my but off at the little old lady down the street shooting moles with her 10 gauge, lifted the little old lady clear off the ground. Watched her shoot once while it was muddy and raining, what a mess. Bill
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